An excerpt from A Parent's Guide to Teen Addiction: Professional Advice on Signs, Symptoms, What to Say, and How to Help (Skyhorse Publishing; October 2017). Marijuana, the illegal drug most commonly used by teenagers, is widely accepted as harmless, but is it? Its effects range from the trivial—silliness, bloodshot ...

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8:00 a.m.: Monday mornings are abhorred by almost everyone, but they are gloomier if you work as an intern. For me, this Monday was an anticipated work-free day — hence, it wasn't too bad. I had spent a long time at breakfast catching up with friends and later grabbed my books and went to the library to catch up on my studies. This happiness was short lived. And in the afternoon, ...

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When I meet a new person, and they find out I am a pediatric ER doctor, the most common response is a variation of: “Oh, that must be hard,” accompanied by a sympathetic frown. The statement is well-intentioned, but I wonder — is their view of medicine closer to "Grey’s Anatomy" or "Scrubs?" (Hint: "Scrubs" is a better show and a more accurately reflects life in medicine.) I imagine they think my ...

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An excerpt from Born to Be Wild: Why Teens Take Risks, and How We Can Help Keep Them Safe. According to the National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep in America Poll of 2014, 75 percent ...

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Although my medical school created many opportunities for clinical exposure during the first two years, none of it compared to the immersive experiences that were to follow. Textbooks, PowerPoints, and lectures galore were supplanted by hundreds of patient interactions in my rotation months. Here are four patient communication tips that have served me well, and that I wish I knew from the outset of my rotations. 1. Build rapport with the ...

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Twenty years ago, Congress made a commitment to its children when it created the Children’s Health Insurance Program, recognizing working parents who earned too much to qualify for Medicaid still couldn’t afford health insurance for their kids. For pediatricians who remember, the practice landscape was a great deal different then. So many children were uninsured that pediatric emergency rooms were filled with children who needed routine school physicals and regular ...

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Nearly every American is touched by serious chronic illness, either as a patient or as a caregiver. The federal government recognizes the far-reaching effects of such conditions, and agencies like the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conduct surveillance of these diseases. Such research allows us to better understand the burden of different diseases, develop new treatments and prevention practices, and protect the public’s health. ...

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I find myself spending close to an hour on the computer each morning at the hospital. I spend this time dutifully looking up vital signs, labs, recent radiology or pathology results as well as many other valuable pieces of information about each of my patients. I watch as my colleagues frantically record values, while making sure to point out important trends and gross abnormalities. When we round, there is always a ...

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Sexuality can be hard to talk about. I think this is true for adults far more than for children. Children are naturally curious and nonjudgmental. They just want to know: What is that, what’s it for, why are yours different from mine, and why does he have one of those and I don’t? It’s we adults who squirm and dodge, deflect and bolt. From a very early age, children learn ...

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Dr. Tara Zandvliet was inundated with calls and emails from parents last year, after California passed a law nixing personal beliefs as an exemption from school vaccinations. Suddenly, many parents sought exemptions for medical reasons. Someone even faked two medical exemption forms purportedly written by the San Diego pediatrician, copying a legitimate document she’d provided for a patient and writing in the names of students she’d never treated, she said. She ...

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